tv Hearing Focuses on Rural Development and Energy Programs CSPAN September 29, 2017 12:13pm-1:48pm EDT
>> the senate agriculture nutrition and forced to committee held a hearing this week to consider rural development energy programs for the 2018 farm bill. this portion includes testimony i several agriculture department officials who out by agency efforts to provide broadband service to rural communities, prove the electric grid and invest in renewable energy projects. the hearing was led by committee chair senator pat roberts of kansas and ranking member debbie stabenow from michigan. this is about 90 minutes. >> good morning members of the committee. i call this hearing of the senate committee on agriculture
nutrition for street to order. today's hearing marks this committees ninth hearing this year, dedicated to enlisting -- listen to our stakeholders around the country on out our office programs are currently working or need improvement as we work towards farm bill reauthorization during this congress. this includes taking a look at spending request for proposals for 39 programs in the farm bill that do not have budget baseline. and as i said each of these hearings are committee must be mindful of very tough budgetary environment that we have to face. while it is a principal duty of this committee to ensure the next farm bill provides our nation's agriculture produces with the necessary tools and resources to feed a growing and hungry world, our responsibilities and the will of the is a you not stop there. it is also critical for next farm bill works to support rural businesses and cooperatives and
health clinics and schools, renewable energy, and bio-based product manufacturers manufacturers and other essential service providers. they all serve as the backbone of the communities are farmers and ranchers call home. earlier this year at our committees first field hearing in manhattan, kansas, home of the ever optimistic and fighting wildcats, we had the opportunity to from a number of stakeholders that i believe share much of the same passion and commitment to rural america as today, to the witnesses i apologize for the lateness of the hearing. thank you for being very patient. we listen to the manager at the electric cooperative explained w low interest rural utilities service electric loans make it possible for small cooperatives to provide rural kansas with affordable and reliable energy. a kansas biofuels producer spoke about the important role renewable energy plays in helping to create real jobs in a new market demand for a number
of commodities important to all of our member states. and we heard a real telecom provider discussed daily challenges that she faces in working to provide high-speed broadband to area in western kansas roughly the size of connecticut. and vermont, the distinguished chairman from vermont, or the senator from vermont has departed. but with 3 million fewer people. i hope today's hearing will continue that conversation and provide our committees opportunities to hear a broader perspective of the needs throughout farm country. on our first battl bill today we pleased to the assistant to the secretary of agriculture for rural development and the three acting administrator for the rural utilities service, rural housing service, and rural business cooperative service. they will discuss secretary perdue use vision for fostering growth and economic prosperity throughout rural america and
providing update a program functions within the usda rural development. for our second witnes point is f panels, partly, witnesses come will hear from a broad set of private sector stakeholders including references will cooperatives who work every day to provide essential utility services to farmers, ranchers and small towns all across the country. they include a nonprofit organization that provides training and other support for small business development, a university professor leaving state-of-the-art research in renewable chemical product development and finally an entrepreneur whose business model is helping farmers and other small businesses save on energy costs to the installation of renewable energy systems. again i look forward to our discussion today regarding the role development and energy titles of the farm bill and doing from eyewitnesses about their recommendations to improve these programs and provide our
rural committees with the necessary and economic tools they need to grow and thrive. it's my privilege to represent senator stabenow for any opening remarks she would like to make. >> thank you very much, mr. chas hearing. this is such an important to discuss issues that are so critically important to small towns and rural communities in michigan and kansas, and all across the country. i want to welcome our witnesses today. thank you for your work. earlier this year we held a a hearing to examine the state of the farm and rural economy. there we heard loudly and clearly that those who live and work in rural america are facing tough economic times. but we also learn that there are many opportunities to invest in the future of our small towns and rural communities. create good paying jobs and keep them come and help them get back on a good track. rural communities are often the first to feel the effects of an
economic downturn, and the last to see the impacts of an improving economy. aas a result we should be making more investments in rural america, not less. looking ahead to the next farm do we need to think strategically about how we can achieve long-term economic growth in every region of the country. i've always said that the farm bill is a jobs bill. the role development and energy titles that we're discussing today have a wealth of opportunities to provide a bright future for rural america. i grew up in one of those small towns in northern michigan, and i know how important is that we have robust economic development efforts, support for agriculture and support for business expansion. so strengthening our rural communities and injuring a high quality of life that young people that want to go home to is very personal for me.
in order for our community is to thrive they need people to compete in the 21st century economy. improving access to high-speed internet is one of the top ways to make sure that that happens. usda provides critical support and capital to expand broadband access. we need to strengthen the tools available to extend high-speed internet to every corner of the country. we also need to continue investing in other forms of rural infrastructure. it's unacceptable that there are small towns that cannot afford to modernize their water systems to provide clean drinking water. small businesses need access to capital as well. rural business loans help entrepreneurs grow their businesses while also offering new employment opportunities for the community at large. we need to continue to invest in innovation that will keep a driving these economies for work. in michigan, agriculture and
manufacturing are the heart of our economy. we don't have a middle-class and less we make things and grow things. that's why we created opportunities in the last farm bill to support bio-based manufacturing. studies using petroleum, companies are creating new products from american grown crops. the economic benefit is twofold, new market for our farmers, and new jobs and manufacturing opportunities for our businesses. the farm bill and best in renewable energy which also leads to job creation. according to a new report that are now 92,000 clean energy jobs in michigan alone. the popular rural energy for america program known as we helps producers and businesses lower utility bills to installing renewable energy systems in making energy efficiency upgrades. innovations and advanced biofuels are helping us to become more energy independent
and pay less at the pump. it's clear the opportunities we created in the 2014 farm bill are helping our small towns. create jobs and support communities where parents want to raise their children. as we begin work on the next farm bill i look forward to building on that progress to help rural america reach its full potential. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i think the senator. >> mr. chairman? >> the distinguished senator is recognized. >> mr. chairman, in the event i can get back i have what is i like to introduce, is a possible? on the second panel. >> i think that's certainly possible. >> mr. chairman, i just want to first off thank you and senator stabenow for having this hearing picked this is important title in the farm bill, and i have a panelist today from south dakota, a good friend, denny
law, and credibly capable general manager and golden west telecommuters and cooperative which is headquartered in wall south dakota. his company serves my hometown of myrtle south dakota where my dad still is. he will be 98 in december. he spent a lot of time watching cable and on the internet, and is probably one of the most informed and least patient constituents because -- [laughing] inevitably he calls me to complain about whatever it is he saying that we are doing. but golden west is been around for long time since 1960. they provide telephone, internet and cable services across the state and denny has a 27 year history in the industry, all in south dakota serving both east and west river. what makes his current job as ceo of golden west so challenging is his companies location in one of the most rural areas of the country with rancho from operations position miles apart and often one to two hours from a larger city like rapid city.
yet he has managed to meet the rope broadband charges by developing reliable broadband in this area providing access for jobs, education and healthcare. he is help keep a large part of rural south dakota in touch with incessant and that of its of the telecommunications industry that most of us in other parts of the country take for granted. he asserted as your manager of sioux valley telephone company in dell rapids south dakota and went on to become the east region manager at gold west industries ceo of golden west since 2008. yes batches degree in science and journalism from south dakota state university went on to receive his masters and administer study in human resources from university of south dakota which means he's very conflicted when it comes to the football season. i want to thank him for appearing before this committee and for sharing your recommendations on how this committee for the next farm bill can help you and your company improve access to broadband in rural areas. so welcome and i thank you, mr. chairman fat indulgence.
appreciate having denny law here today. >> i know you're very busy, and urge you to keep looking -- working on tax reform, a very important member of the finance committee, a special behalf of the amendment as a cell is south dakota, or the roberts-soon an imminent as it's known in kansas. we will introduce the first panel of witnesses today. his anne hazlett, currently serves as assistant to the secretary for usda rural development. an indiana native, she has worked on agriculture and rural issues for over 15 years. working in both the u.s. house and senate, anne has most was late so does republican chief counsel for the senate committee on agriculture, nutrition for street in addition to public service in washington. anne strike of agriculture for her home state where she manages the indiana state department of agriculture and was an advisor to the governor at that time,
governor mitch daniels. on agriculture and also world issues. outside of public service anne was in private law practice where she advised clients on agriculture and environmental regulatory matters. she is a graduate of kansas state university, graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor science degree and agriculture communications. in addition she holds a law degree from indiana university and a masters degree in agriculture law from the university of arkansas. anne, we are delighted to have you before committee today. welcome back. the next witness is mr. richard davis, rich has been serving as a deputy administrator for committee programs in rural development since august 2010. the committee programs provide direct and guaranteed loans and grants to help our rural community development improve their essential committee facilities for public use in rural areas if the facilities
include healthcare, schools, folk saint and a bride of other project types. we thank you for your service and thank you for being here today. join us next is chad parker. mr. parker serves as deputy administrator for cooperative programs and work in the department of agriculture rural development for more than 26 years. in his current capacity he manages a team that provides assistance to rural communities in the areas of cooperative development, research and education, cooperative statistics, regional strategic planning and place-based initiatives. that's quite a list, hard to pronounce all those things. thank you for your service. our last witness on the spell is mr. christopher mclean. the acting director of the rural utilities service, our u.s. he oversees the operations of the planning policy and finance agency focused on rural electric
telecommuters and broadband, water and sewer systems. thanks to all the witnesses for being here today. anne, why don't you kick off? >> good morning, chairman roberts, ranking member stabenow, members of the committee. i'm truly honored with this opportunity to discuss prospered in rural america. a passion i know i share with each of you here today at a topic that is of critical importance as you write the next farm bill. growing up in indiana, agriculture and small towns have been my life scalding. starting in the forage program as a young girl i followed my love of farming and rural places to collagen into law school so i could be an advocate for rural america. over the course of my career i didn't bless to serve as counsel to both the house and senate agriculture committees during drafting of the 2002-2008, 2014 farm bills. i had a chance to represent the rural interest of my home state
as director of agriculture. each of these chapters i've developed a sincere appreciation for the role of policy and partnerships in assisting rural communities craft and execute a vision for the future. i have a deep respect for each of you as chief advocates for the rural interest understates and an understanding of the monumental challenges that you face in writing a single bill that will meet so many different needs. as you prepare to begin running the next farm bill i will start with what you already know for many of the states that you represent, which is the fact that conditions in many rural communities are incredibly challenging. today, 85% of the forced towns in america are in rural areas. when kids get older and look to begin their careers, very few come home to the towns in which they grew up. and many small towns there simply enough access to critical infrastructure that folks need to stay connected to a modern economy. when you look at these challenges whether in kansas or
michigan, north dakota or indiana, we are asking what can we at usta due to make a difference to help build prosperity in these treasured places. enhancing that important question i have found the best and just come from the ground outside of d.c. just last week i made a visit to minnesota, a small city that built a day care facility asking how the town had come to make this forward-looking investment. i was told by local official that the reason was simple. when in sight selector comes to visit their town, they are always looking for for things he told me. day care, high-speed internet, good roads, and rail access. at usda rural development would want to be a partner to committees like olivia in building prosperity. congress have provided tools to assist in many of these needs. as a look to enhance the use of these resources, secretary perdue has set several priorities for our team at usta. first, where focus on partnerships and coordination
pics secretary perdue sleeting task force on agriculture and rural prosperity that is brought together the many federal agencies and departments that it back rural communities. in this effort when developing action-based solutions for fortune issues that are impacting rural america. quality of life, the real workforce, innovation and economic development. with these the resources we would then be looking to work and strong collaboration with our many partners at the state and local level. second, we're tackling infrastructure needs that i know are a key issue in many of your states. robust modern infrastructure is a necessity, not an immunity for rural america. without the administration has proposed creation of a new infrastructure fund that would offer more flexible source of investment tools to respond to the needs of rural america such as broadband connectivity. we are focused on innovation finding new ways to assist rural timber days and addressing the many challenges and
opportunities they faced. earlier this month secretary perdue announced his intention to create a rural development innovation center led by innovation officer, the team allows several important functions such as data policy and trend analysis. we hope with this addition the center will help our agents become more forward focus and better equipped to assist communities in developing effective grassroots solutions. i want to extend a heartfelt thank you for what you do each day to be a strong voice rural america. as you move forward in writing this next farm bill, secretary perdue and i are committed to working with each of you to ensure that rural america is the place for prosperity for generations to come. thank you. >> thank you, anne. mr. davis. >> good morning. chairman roberts, ranking member stabenow and members of the committee, i appreciate this opportunity to testify before you today. let me begin by thanking congress for its ongoing support of rural communities. with your support the rural
housing service or rhs, have made significant and transformative investments to strengthen the nation small towns and rural communities. rural development fund middle mission is to increase economic opportunity and through the quality of life in rural america. the committees facilities program, a key part of the rhs portfolio supports this mission by investing in critically needed community infrastructure. our program provides rural america with access to much-needed capital, for financial options are limited or nonexistent. in recent years demand for the low-cost, long-term financing has surged and the direct program has experienced a ninefold increase in funding level. committees facilities expects to utilize 100% of all of its appropriate funds this fiscal year and continue to maintain a strong pipeline of projects for next year. currently, the total portfolio of community the source
investment is 8.8 billion with the majority investor in the rural healthcare sector, educational facilities, public buildings and public safety infrastructure. the financial health of our portfolio remains strong, and the direct loan program will have a negative credit subsidy rate in fiscal year 18. the unique flexibility of committee facilities also lends itself well to addressing current issues and challenges facing rural america. as you know rural towns and communities have been hit hard by the opioid crisis. rhs can play an important role in mitigating the impact of the opioid crisis in rural america by strengthening investment in mental and behavioral healthcare, and other facilities that provide treatment, prevention and recovery support. community facilities continue to prioritize investment in the future of rural america's children i supporting a wide range of day care and educational facilities including charter schools.
a positive start will provide rural children with opportunities to further education and achievement. building on this foundation, this program also strongly supports rural higher education institutions to meet critical regional industry needs, and physician and other skilled professional shortages across rural america. in recent years as the size and complexity of our projects has grown community facilities has taken a leadership role in facilitating public-private partnerships to leverage critical financial, project management, technical expertise and innovation to leverage large complex command infrastructure projects. public-private partnerships enable our programs to serve more rural communities and assist more rural residents with economic growth, job creation and access to critical services. as we move forward rhs is confident it will successfully implement the program stayed for a thriving rural america.
thank you again for this opportunity to share with you how rhs expense economic opportunity in rural america through improving the quality of life for rural residents every day. thank you. >> we thank you, mr. davis. especially for being on time. mr. parker. >> good morning. chairman roberts and members of the committee, thank you for this opportunity to discuss program of the real business cooperatives. rural development as this is a been the leading advocate to strengthen our nation through economies through increasing access to capital in rural areas and expanding a bio economy including supporting opportunities for biofuels and renewable energy. for develop its programs and services, in partnership with other public and private funding are at the forefront of improving the lives of rural americans. our programs do not only promote rural business opportunities,, they keep jobs in rural america and help world economies compete
in the global marketplace. to date in fiscal year 2017 the rural business cooperative service has successfully delivered approximately $1.73 in funding to rural americans that helped 12,500 businesses create or save about 55,000 jobs. our path forward is to focus on our ability to efficiently and responsibly provide government services that meet the needs of rural americans. the cooperative service remains committed to revitalizing rural committees by expanding economic opportunities, reading jobs, improving rural infrastructure and expanding markets for existing rural businesses in order to ensure a vibrant economy. we administer direct loan and grant programs and not only directly the capital available but more poorly attract investment capital to rural areas that might not otherwise see such investments. rural business cooperative service continues to be a leader in helping ensure america's
energy independence and security. promoting the creation and expansion of renewable energy projects and jobs in rural america. we currently administer a suite of programs that promote a more sustainable energy future. the rural energy for america program or reap is our most successful and competitive renewal energy program. reap promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy development for agricultural producers and rural small businesses. in fiscal year 2017 alone reap will provide funding for over 1200 projects with total project costs over $1 billion and leverage nearly 18 times the amount of reap budget authority provided for the year. cooperatives are an important business model and the cornerstone for business development in many rural community spirit cooperatives provide residents with job opportunities, enhanced educational and health care services, and products that enable them to compete in the global economy. cooperatives great local job opportunities and cooperative
revenues are maintained and recirculated locally. one of the largest and most popular opportunities for cooperatives is a value added producer grant program. that program provides grants, agriculture cooperatives in producers the grant funds may be used for planning activities and for working capital for marketing value added agricultural products for farm base renewable energy. enabling america's producers to compete in the global economy. the rural business cooperative service, is committed to an economic prosperity in rural communities through improved access to capital and economic development on a regional scale. as we move forward in the new fiscal year we continue to examine operations and look for opportunities to create efficiencies and seek opportunities to target and leverage resources with the greatest impact. thank you for the time, mr. chairman, and members of the committee. it's truly an honor to be here and help my testimony proves to be informative. >> i'm sure it will. thank you, mr. parker.
thank you for your 26 years. mr. mclean. >> senator roberts, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today, and thank you for your support for rural electric water, telekinetic-ish and and broadband infrastructure investment through the rural utilities service. the recent storms of the seas remind us how important basic utility infrastructure is to the quality of our lives. the heroic response of legions of rural utility workers helping damaged systems restore power, communications and water illustrates the true spirit of rural america and the long-term success of the public-private partnership that has been nurtured by this committee and the usda. usda investments in basic of research help deliver and affordable electricity, faster internet service and clean, safe water to help healthy rural committees grow and prosper. today our rural utilities portfolio of loans outstanding is nearly $60 billion.
our annual annual program level is a proximally $9 billion. and our elected program are funding is up utilities strengthen rural electric infrastructure. our elected partners are replacing aging plants, testing the smart grid technologies to increase efficiency, expanding transmission capacity and hardening the grid against natural and man-made disaster. this fiscal year we are expecting obligate over $4 billion in improvements in every element of electric grid as well as new investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy. our telecommunications program finances broadband and advanced telecommunications services. data shows nearly 40% of rural americans lack access to robust, reliable, modern broadband service. during the fy '17 '17, rus expes obligate over $427 billion for state-of-the-art telekinetic and broadband technologies in some of the nation's more remote areas. these investments connect community to the information age
and the world to rural america's tolerance, services and products. the rus committee connect grant programs are making profound differences in the community they serve. so far this year rus is obligated nearly $6 million to fund first time broadband service to some of the most underserved communities, and $24 million for telemedicine projects. in our water and environment of programs, rus works to maximize limited loan and grant funds to divert water and wastewater projects, often serving some of the most financially needed communities in our nation. we are focused on helping communities provide the quality water and wastewater services that are essential to the health, safety and economic future of those who live and work in and around small-town america. for fy '17 the water program expects to use over $1.7 billion to build or improve water and waste facilities.
for our anti-agency rus continues to work to streamline our procedures, better coordinate our efforts and automate where we can. for example, our new system is allowing borrowers and agency to reduce paper, speed approval, and enhanced efficiency. we continue to work to improve the customer experience as well as make sound decisions that deliver value to the american taxpayer. thank you again for the opportunity to discuss how rus works to support increased economic opportunity and the quality of life in rural america. thank you. >> i thank you, mr. mclean, thanks to all of the witnesses. anne, let's start off with you. share with us your vision under secretary perdue leadership, this is new for the rural development innovation center is there a particular example you could tell us about regarding how the center would improve the assistance provided to our rural communities? >> thank you for the problem,
chairman roberts. secretary perdue vision is that we use our resources at rural development. those of programs and people to barter with rural communities and rural prosperity that one of the ways that we want to do that is through innovation. i mention this innovation center that he'that is announced his in to create. this is team that's when he work alongside the three agency administrators and carry out a number of important activities such as data analysis and program outcomes measurement. we're also looking to drive other activity from the center that would be designed to foster capacity building and partnership development. a specific example i think i can get is in the area of trend analysis and partnerships. when we think about communities in rural america, some of the challenges that they face, whether it's the loss of a particular sector of its economy or the rise of a new health challenges such as the opioid epidemic, we hope a team of
folks devoted to innovation can help those communities by identifying best practices that event successful and other communities addressing that same issue and link them with appropriate to a the program tools and other partnerships. i have a specific example i guess i can share recently from kansas. i had an opportunity to visit on rural healthcare with secretary jackie mccleskey as well as the kansas farm bureau. they're interested in the challenge of recruiting doctors to roll committees. we had a discussion about best practices and pilot initiatives that could be driven and i think that's a specific sample of an issue that in many other states as well that innovation team could help with. >> i appreciate that very much. mr. davis, i cosponsored a bill earlier this year which would prioritize the community facility funding for the
construction or improvements to addiction treatment as mentioned by anne. could you comment on the demand for a resisting over the past couple of years for projects focus on addiction treatment? i think we have a big problem out there. [inaudible] >> i agree. we've seen an uptick in the interest in these facilities. in the past is clear, checking our numbers, we've invested in $300 billion of substance abuse, substance abuse disorder type facilities to treat folks with those issues. and currently we are seeing a pipeline going into fiscal year '18 of about 400 million in the need for these facilities. so i would say yes, we are seeing that need, and thank you for the funding we have received
to help invest in those types of facilities. >> i appreciate that very much. mr. parker, you oversee a wide variety to say the least of programs that assist rural businesses. could you discuss how to particular programs currently within your purview are geared towards stimulating rural economies in a targeted way? >> thank you for the question, chairman roberts. yes, we, our rural business cooperative service programs provide loans, grants and guarantees, but also do numerous other targeted ways to improve rural americans and rural business lives. some of the ways we provide one by having staff working in each of our rural communities. they can work with the business organizations that they can work with a local lenders to make
sure -- some of our programs allow committee lenders, banks and other types of lenders, because up at a guarantee on those loans, they are able to sell portions of those loans to the secondary market. allowing them to continue to link in the community beyond what their normal lending limit would be. we also programs that reduce energy costs because we had produces to energy efficiency and renewable energy, life is business to prosper and be more viable in the rural economy. we have programs that help create new markets for our ag producerproduces lighting to gae revenues and value added products. we have programs that allow harm credit institutions to gather funds and invest in a strategic manner through investment funds into rural communities. we have ways that provide
resources and activities around the development of cooperatives in the development of new businesses, providing funding to organizations that assist in those wasted with programs that provide technical assistance, job training and feasibility studies so our rural businesses are not wasting the capital they go in and invest. >> thank you. i have one quick question for you. mr. mclean, this is for the entire panel but time does not permit, this one question to all of you. mr. mclean, what would be the key challenge that you face administering rural development programs that are authorized in the farm bill? give me your key challenge. >> thank you, senator. i would say that they key issue for rus, we have a passion for broadband deployment.
we are anxious to be able to connect all of rural america. our primary tool that we have available to us our loan dollars. those bones depends significantly on revenue streams that are under the jurisdiction of the federal communications commission. and they key challenge for us is to be able to make long-term lending, based on the promise of the telecom act of 1996 as specific, predictable and sufficient universal service support. where we see stability and the support levels, we see growth and demand for our loan products. where we had uncertainty of the predictability of that support, there is hesitancy on the private sector to be able to invest in telecommunications in rural areas. the good news is in kansas they are figuring it out. we had some of our finest
borrowers and great examples, in fact, we recently approved a loan in our senior loan committee and we have rtc in western kansas that is doing wonderful things there, but it is a big, big challenge and it depends very much on revenue sources that are beyond the control of the service provider and beyond the control of the agency. >> thank you very much. senator stabenow. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i welcome again to all of you, and i appreciate your work. ms. hazlett, first of all welcome back to the committee. it's wonderful to have you back with us. broadly before getting to specifics, i know you said in your testimony that the usda rural development thanks in part to the farm that is the only agency in the federal government
that has the distinct mission of creating jobs in rural areas, supporting small businesses, basic infrastructure and providing access to high-speed internet. that's what i was very concerned. i knew you were not there at the temple when the president put out his budget as we look at the cuts in all of those areas. so wonder if you could speak in broad measures where you see is going on rural development and do you think we need more resources in rural development or less? >> thank you, ranking member stabenow, for raising that important concern. i would simply respond that i understand that rural is different, that no two rural communities are the same. and while they may face similar challenges, they may need different resources to address that challenge. i'm committed to serving the needs of rural america and to being a partner, i'm committed
to working with you and the members of this committee to meet the needs of your rural constituents, and lastly i'm committed to making effective and efficient use of the resources that congress provides to meet those needs. >> thank you very much. look forward to working with you on that as well, and i which is safe from our side, concern on actually bipartisan concern about making sure we are not cutting back on significant things like rural water infrastructure or small business and so on. so look forward to working with you on that. i'd like to talk about broadband which is a passion of mine, and you were talking about that being a passion of yours and your agencies as well. when we think about how we move forward, quality love life in small towns, whether it's small businesses i talked to that want to sell the parts around the world and still be in northern
michigan looking at the great lakes and the beautiful quality of life that we have, or whether it's our hospitals that want to be able to connect and provide the highest quality, medical care or whether its schools and so on and so on. we know that this is the piece, least i believe it is the piece. and i'd like you to speak to this and look at each of the panelists to speak about the priority right now of making sure that we're connecting and not leaving rural america behind right now as technology is moving so fast. i'd like to know your comments further about rural broadband, high-speed internet, and whether or not you will commit to using every tool at your disposal to expand high-speed internet to small towns in rural communities in michigan as well as all across the country. mr. mclean. >> thanks very much.
absolutely w we're taking by any means necessary approach in the rural utilities service using every tool that we do have available to us my colleague keith adams who heads the telecom program works with federal agencies to coordinate our efforts, and our elected program we are seeing rural electric cooperatives deployed smart grid technologies using fiber assets, which then can be leveraged in partnership with local co-ops to be able to provide consumer broadband services. we are seeing some amazing projects come before our loan committee where we have reliable revenues and reliable levels of universal service support where we've seen fiber to the home. we just recently approved a batch of loans in south dakota that are some of the more remote areas that are bring fiber to technology. so it is possible to be able to do this, but there are segments
of the rural market that the story is still being written as to what levels of support will be available. there's a major proceeding at the federal communications commission to address those rural areas of large telecom providers that need levels of support, and we are watching very, very closely and where appropriate, providing advice on how those new support mechanisms will reveal themselves and inspire investors rural electric cooperatives local, small town telecom companies and new providers to people to be able to invest in broadband services in those underserved areas. >> hanky. i know my time is up, but we do know what to speak from your perspective? ms. hazlett? >> thank you, ranking member stabenow. i would add stepping out from
the program site for a second, i would just raise the opportunity for collaboration here. i mentioned the agriculture and rural prosperity task force that secretary perdue is leaving. i think a lot of this on his perspective also comes down to leadership and just needing to see the different federal agencies that playable in this important issue working together. i know that he and chairman pai are in close contact and looking at how our policies can be driving towards that common goal. >> and i would just say i think this is the issue of the moment. one point it was collecting, it was connecting our mouse at the of the road with the phone and with electricity, and now it is high-speed internet. if we don't fix that we will not see the quality of life that we want in our rural communities. thank you. >> senator boozman. >> this is interesting. i just like a what the ranking
member just said. this is so so very important. i think in arkansas 84%, we're not we're not doing as well as kansas, evidently. so i need to visit with the chairman about that. but 84%, you know, lack access to quality of broadband which is 30% higher than the national average. so it is something that really is very, very important. i guess the question i would have, ms. hazlett and mr. mclean is, we're getting great write the farm bill. what policies do we need to change? what do we need to do differently to make it such that it's easier to get these things done? >> thank you, senator boozman for the question and thank you for your leadership on this issue. as we look at the importance of broadband infrastructure and the
tool, the lifeline it is for quality of life and economic prosperity, we are really looking at this that usda from three different pieces. i mentioned looking at a different agencies that we are working on this topic at the federal level and making sure there's better collaboration. also look at how to increase innovation in the deployment of this technology, and then the third pieces which were touching on, what are those mental processes of programs that we haven't usda and i could make our tools easier to use, easy to apply for. we look forward to working with the committee in the coming months as you writing this bill to offer specific improvements to the farm bill broadband program. [inaudible] >> bringing revenues up and stable, whether it is through the customer base or state and federal universal service support mechanisms and bringing costs down. and one of the ways we can help in rural business cooperative
secretary purdue is committed and understands the importance of this, and as you hear from the committee, something that's on our mind and the mind of our constituents is that we can't go forward without having that ability. if i could switch fears, this is water and wastewater which is very important to rule america and real arkansas. ep w subcommittee hearing that i chaired, when my constituents testified about his struggles with lack of running water. with a grant, with the grant they were able to drill well and bring fresh drinking water. as we look to write legislation to address the crumbling infrastructure and
write the next farm bill, these are mutually exclusive. can you or mr. mclean talk about the water and wastewater program and what can be done to ensure america's access to safe water. >> thank you for raising this important issue. i understand the water resources in rural communities are great. we will certainly steward the resources and build infrastructure with the dollars that are provided. certainly there is opportunity for improvement and i would allow senator mccain to elaborate on those ideas to make this program even
stronger. >> the gentleman i referenced -- >> thank you very much. this year alone the utility service is obligated about $35 million of investments in rural water in the state of arkansas and we are very proud about. we have innovative municipalities bring water and sewer systems to their communities, but it's hard, it's tough. our grant programs are focused on communities of 10000 or less and we have to mix that combination in order to target the grant dollars to the areas needed the most, and there is always more demand.
we use the very last penny in order to invest those resources wisely. >> thank you. >> senator leahy. >> thank you mr. chairman. i think the panelists. we have a judiciary committee meeting going on to doors away and i am always concerned on rural development matters. one of the reasons i stay on this committee all of these years, coming from as rule estate as you will find. we have very areas in vermont. they require the usda to make
a priority of direct loans and grants for substance abuse disorder treatment programs and so on and so on. i think we should make a priority about. we also have to find new resources to combat it. we should find a way to increase funding for funding opioid addictions. ms. hazel, i know you're looking at this very closely. i'll ask you this. you support efforts that make a priority of grants that combat the opioid epidemic and increase our investment in community facilities direct loans and grants and continue serving communities as long grants do now and what can the department illustrate to improve development programs to help those struggling with opioids.
it's become, in some places, and epidemic. this is not a democratic or republican issue. it's fair to say every single senator on this panel worries about. >> thank you senator leahy for raising this important issue and thank you for leadership. secretary purdue recently held a listening session in new hampshire where he heard from various stakeholders about this crisis and we have an opportunity to see the things working in the northeast. usda's role in this topic, we certainly have the immediate short-term programs for communities to access as they are helping build that immediate response. we also have the distance-learning program as
well as some prevention grant resources. i think another significant opportunity for usda is that longer horizon, were we well-positioned to be a strong partner in addressing the root challenges that are often at the heart of this issue. >> you're going to need more money in these programs to do that. correct. >> certainly resources will be needed. >> are you going to push for those resources. >> you have my commitment to steward whatever resources are provided. >> are going to push for providing those resources. >> i'm wearing my hat as the vice chairman of the appropriations committee. >> you have my commitment to steward the resources that are provided. >> well, i would say, to steward them, you're going to have to get them and i realized the restraints, i've
talked to secretary purdue about this, but you've got to ask for the money and you got a push for the money. >> senator, i'm sure you and i will receive a call from an for funding on this most important topic and we are united on this effort. >> this is not a republican or democratic thing. we are all concerned. we also have our forest economy, vermont depends on $1.4 billion forest, we have some nice forest, healthy, but in vermont, we are struggling with the recent loss of important markets for low-grade wood due to the closure of several biomass mills. we need a market for hybrid wood. we see that in construction and furniture and everything
else. we also need low-grade. we have to have both before going to really manage our forest. if you have nonexistent or poor force management, we all know the fires can occur. the role of rural development to expand market and support a strong force industry. we talk about a lot of crops, but forest is part of that, are they not. >> thank you senator leahy for raising an important sector of the northeast economy. i had an opportunity to travel with secretary purdue to the northeast earlier this month and certainly saw firsthand the importance of this industry in the region. i'm committing to preserving
and enhancing through rural development. many programs will. i will let them elaborate on some of the business tools that might be there to help that sector. >> my last question, i was disappointed when i saw the budget proposal to eliminate role housing service including section 2502 and 515. they provide affordable housing, it's essential in rural america. will you and mr. davis work with the secretary and this committee because we all have areas that are affected and find out how we can create a sustainable housing strategy for rural america that is sustainable in both
affordability and access. >> thank you. >> i appreciate the importance of that issue is and we will work with you to ensure innovation leverage. >> mr. davis, you work with us to. >> absolutely. >> i just wanted to hear it. >> we would be most interested in working with you. it is an important segment of the economy and important to the success of america. absolutely. >> i noted that mr. davis nodded his head up and down vigorously. >> senator daines. >> chairman robertson ranking members, thank you for listening.
i spent decades in the private sector before entering public service. think it's part of building a world-class cloud computing company in my hometown of rose montana. we know the impact that it has on our communities and how access to broadband can break down barriers. technology has removed geography as constraint. with conductivity, family and rural montana and start their own small business and have access to global markets. when oracle acquired our company several years ago, they are building out their global cloud computing structure, think about this. they have three cloud command centers around the world for their cloud operations for the seventh largest cloud computing corporation in the world. they have three command centers. for europe and middle middle east it's london.
for america has always been montana. were not just talking about backwater players. this is mba level, first string companies in the technology sector. this will be impossible to keep moving forward unless we close this gap. the gap between high speed to urban residents have access to and the lack of any speeds that rural residents have. with got to get from 4g to 5g and some of these areas produce places in montana but i haven't even found the alphabet. were not talking about g. that's one of the reasons, we are going to bring leaders together to talk about how technology can continue to help rural communities grow. additionally, programs like the farmville and broadband loans and community connect grants are important across the country.
the only work when they are applied correctly and in communities that have need. the broadband loans and grants have helped many in the united states, however the impact it's like the community connect grants initiative have been limited, in my home state , for example, montana has not yet received a grant in the 15 year tenure. can you help explain the criteria for this? how montana communities and businesses can be better utilize her's of this important program. >> thank you. i would be delighted to. montana does have some of the finest, we are really proud of that partnership. the challenge in the community
connect program it is small in the number of dollars and highly competitive we are focusing limited grant dollars on the areas that have the highest need. the scoring criteria will favor the most remote, the most poor and the most underserved. they are focused on those who have zero broadband, no broadband ability at all. we are able to do right around ten or so grants. year based on the dollars that are appropriated. some years it has been significantly less, a couple years we were able to shake out the cushions and good a few extra dollars and make it a little bit more, but it's been typically around
$10 million, and we can do about ten grants and they are very very competitive. we are delighted to work with communities and we do webinars and we would be happy to help advise community groups on how to apply and we would look forward to working with you and your staff to find ways to improve. >> thank you. i want to shift gears to talk about tribal broadband issues. montana is home to seven recognize tribes. we know that access opens up new possibilities and opportunities for tribal communities. unfortunately the fixed broadband report from 2016, 65% of the population on tribal land lack access to fixed telecommunication services. many small companies have stepped up to bring wireless and broadband access.
we are grateful to that. i think the federal government does play a role in the spread the question is, what is the u.s. doing to expand access to tribal communities. >> thank you very much. tribal communities are key focus of our outreach. we are infrequent contact working with the fcc to be able to provide outreach and explain how our programs work. one of the challenges we do face in tribal communities are the right-of-way or the ownership of land is often a checkerboard. some land is privately held, some is held in trust and some is held by families not aware of ownership of the land.
it was a major project in montana that iran right up against that problem. i was not able to be completed because there was inability to get consensus on how the rights-of-way would be managed. >> i know i'm out of time. we are good at playing checkers in montana. thanks for the comments. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to thank and, thank you so much for your service, it's always great to see a fellow hoosier in the committee. before we get into the questions i want to thin think you for your service and i'm sure you will make us all proud at your new position at usda. i want to ask about an initiative that i know is dear to your heart and mind and many hoosiers and all of us. i know you are aware of the difficulties that our communities are having.
we have many challenges of addiction. i been working with members to try to ensure that usda has the resources it needs to help our rural communities respond more effectively. i've been fortunate to introduce a pair of bills with chairman roberts and senator strange and i want to thank them for their partnership to provide rural communities with what's needed. opioids and substance abuse impact every community by accessing treatment is even more of a challenge than some of our rural areas across our state. can you discuss how the community facilities and tell american medicine programs will help rural families and communities address the crisis. >> thank you for raising this important issue and for your leadership on it. both of the programs you highlight are certainly being used well to address both
providing treatment facilities in communities as well as using innovation through medicine to access services that might not be located in the immediate town. mr. davis can go into specific numbers we have with those programs. i think one of the things i'd like to circle back to, that i'm excited about, the innovation center that secretary purdue intends to create. i think this is a good example of an issue that communities that are finding themselves in the crosshair for the first time and want to know what has worked wellin other places, whether it's her treatment resources or some of the other ways that a rural community might have the unique access that can be leveraged to address this challenge, that is a great example of where best practices are something that the innovation center then disseminate so the communities do not feel alone.
>> i'm sure we also agree that prevention and addiction treatments are really important. the program you are aware of that purdue extension that has great reach into our rural communities around the states, they offer substance abuse programs which has been shown to lower levels of substance abuse in younger people. can you discuss how important programs like these are for their families? >> absolutely. i've actually had an opportunity to see that program firsthand on the ground in scott county indiana. i think one of the great strengths of a program like that is that it is looking at some of the underlying causes that lead, for many of these situations. when we look at the programs, i think were not just changing that immediate situation but we are potentially changing
and generation and having a conversation, things like public transportation, food security, literacy, it becomes a catalyst that will result in a stronger america. >> senator casey - thank you mr. chairman. >> i wanted to start with a question on a pennsylvania initiative that has been replicated in other states. i just want make two brief comments first, the broadband focus on this hearing, and the bipartisan concern which each about that is significant and i think the problem is urgent.
i spent a lot of time going to counties in our state that are substantially rule. we have 67 counties the 48 hour rule counties. i was in counties where 50% of the folks that live in the county don't have high-speed internet. sullivan county, 69%. counties all across the state that have 40, 50, 60% without broadband. it's a major impediment for small businesses and kids in school and the like. we are grateful there's a focus on it and we can do a lot more. i'm hoping the history repea repeats itself in the appropriations process where the administration unfortunately made a series of proposals in the budget which would eliminate water and wastewater and the rural
business program and rural economic development. it goes on and on. they chose to do otherwise. i'm grateful for that. when it comes to the administration proposal with regard to the farm bill which to say is outrageous and i'm not just doesn't get to the heart of it. cutting the supplement nutritional program by $193 billion over ten years. we are hoping this committee will be in bipartisan opposition to those kinds of cuts. i wanted to ask you about the fresh food financing initiative which is a success story from pennsylvania replicated in a number of states around the country. their program created over 5000 jobs, created or retained $190 million of investment
just from that one initiative by putting down 30 million. put down 30 and get 190 in investment. it has helped in food deserts and it's also a program where there's a substantial personal investment upfront, but it's worked out wellin a lot of states. my question is, how do you see that initiative in the department of agriculture going forward because it's been battle tested or road tested and i want to get your sense of it. >> thank you senator casey for raising an important issue. food, i insecurity and hunger is certainly a piece of quality-of-life as well as opportunity and prosperity. we look at the healthy food financing initiative, i think you see an exciting model of the public-private partnership. not only public-private
partnership but an innovative way and looking at solving a long-standing challenge. rural america is not immune from that. we are looking forward to working with the national fund manager that has been designated for this program. as they move forward with implementation, it's really an opportunity to learn from their experience and leverage some of the relationships they have working in the sector to enhance further investments in this area. particularly low income rural communities. >> i hope as we go forward, if there are things that are priorities, funding or otherwise that the committee can help with and i hope you alert us to that. i just have one more question, i know you can probably amplify this in writing, but the value added producer grant is a valuable resource to assist small businesses and veteran farmers with the development and marketing new products and increase income.
in our state these grants have been awarded to market custom beef, process milk product and bottled wine. can you elaborate on the program and how this program can be expanded to reach new audiences. >> thank you. this program really touches everything from jams to lotion and everything in between. it has really opened doors to new business opportunities for broad range of agriculture producers, allowing them to bring new products to market. if congress looks to improve the program and the next farm bill, we would be pleased to work with the committee for any thoughts you have about changes to improve its effectiveness. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> a vote has been called in the interest of bipartisanship
which is a very strong element of this committee. i am now yielding the gavel to the distinguish senator from michigan on a temporary basis. >> i don't know. i mean i give it back. there's always that worry. >> thank you, mr. chairman. you vote and when you come back i'll go do the same. thank you very much for anything next up we have senator bennett. >> thank you, mr. chairman, thank you medicare. thank you for your service, all of you. i want to express my gratitude to the secretary of agriculture and secretary purdue for hosting the meeting earlier this week for senators that are concerned about the fire borrowing issue which i know is not the topic of this hearing, but i just want to say to my colleagues, this is something that solving this is long overdue. there is strong bipartisan support.
the secretary of agriculture, much to his credit is following up on commitments that he made during the confirmation process, and i hope we will come together and finally solve this issue for our states, not just our western states but states all over the country. just wanted to ask a somewhat related question, i've been around colorado all these years, i am every year and it's clear that rural communities continue to struggle with this challenging commodity, farm incomes decreasing, but also, in our part of the world with prolonged drought in the limited access to affordable land and water, at the same time scientists estimate new technologies could sequester carbon and help with farm
resilience. that means there's additional value in our farmland for not being taken into account i was pleased to hear last week they discuss their commitment to prioritize climate change in the future of generations. i agree with his assessment of that as well. i think colorado's producers do as well. we have a unique opportunity to use usda programs to improve the livelihoods of the next generation through addressing climate change and diversifying opportunities for farmers and ranchers. are you willing to work with the committee and our team to identify opportunities to decrease the amount of carbon pollution in our atmosphere will also enhancing farming comes. >> thank you senator for raising this issue. at usda, for many years our motto has been committed to the rural communities and our programs have adapted and
adjusted to issues that have been important at the time and that will not change. thank you. >> i'm glad to know that. i know in some ways run the cutting edge, but it's so important for us to plan for the future to be resilient for the future, and where there is the possibility of adding new streams of income to our farmers and ranchers, i think it's critical to see what that would look like. >> i wanted to talk about water infrastructure as well. let me also say, madam chair, i think the concern about broadband is one that everyone on this committee shares, our communities desperately share and we say one community can have broadband and another can't have broadband, is tantamount to saying one group of students can have textbooks this year end another group cannot. it is entirely unacceptable from the standpoint of rural children in my state and i
know in your state as well. we have to stay focused on it. i also wanted stock a little bit about water infrastructure i was in cuba meeting with the minister of agriculture who pointed out to me that they don't have a tractor in cuba that's newer than 50 years old. that seems like a great opportunity for us but then i left and i thought will we don't have water infrastructure that's less than 50 years old including in colorado. usda has a significant backlog and it's been discussed for applications for loans and grants to repair and rehabilitate rural water infrastructure. last year in colorado, this program provided 13 loans and six grants also communities of fewer than 5000 people. yet there's nearly a 30 million-dollar backlog in colorado alone despite this the president's budget proposal zero doubt the water infrastructure program. mr. mclean, i would like to ask you what you view as the
biggest hurdle to reducing this backlog in the program. >> we execute. to our greatest extent possible we try to focus our resources where they can be the most helpful. we typically allocate water funding to our state offices of rural development and then at the end of the year, if individual states don't use those dollars, we pool them on the federal level and target them toward high-priority projects. at any given time, i do have projects that are awaiting funding. the ingenuity and creativity of our staff in the rural
water and sewer authority's cross-country take those resources and leverage them and we look for every opportunity to be able to stretch those dollars. >> would you say the backlog is that there's not enough money? >> backlog is the projects are awaiting funding. >> this is another place where we are feeling to invest and i think we need to find a way to recognize there are budget constraints. we have to find a way to have a more creative approach for financing projects as well. i think the idea that they would zero out this particular part in the budget is entirely unacceptable. i would say to the democrats and republicans on this panel, we will have to figure out a different solution. inky madam chair. i think my colleague. >> thank you very much. i would -underscore your comments as well. welcome. it's your turn.
>> thank you all for your testimony. i just want to pick up on the broadband deployment. i heard senator bennett was talking that broadband was essential to economic development in rural areas. you all agreeable with that. >> absolutely. >> to all agree we work hard to make sure we have adequate deployment to meet the needs of rural america. >> absolutely, sir. >> i want to raise the issue with you that is pending right before the fcc. to have a 706 inquiry. are you familiar with that. >> yes or. >> i've been hearing a lot about this from rural parts of my state and just of that inquiry is whether or not, for the purpose of determining whether we have adequate broadband deployment in rural
areas, or any areas, we can say that wireless deployment is good enough and we don't also have to look at the deployment of fixed broadband. are you familiar with that. >> yes or. >> the national rural electric cooperative association is one of many that have filed comments in that case, and on page two of their filing, they just ate flat out, the commission, meaning the fcc should continue to assess fixed and mobile broadband separately in determining whether advanced medications capabilities are being deployed to all americans in a reasonable and timely fashion. do you agree with that statement? >> you do. >> my question is whether the department of agriculture has weighed in or commented as
well before the fcc with respect to the proposal that is pending the 706 inquiry. >> i will defer to ms. hazel. >> i am not aware of this issue but we will certainly be happy to follow up today. secretary purdue has placed the top priority on broad land entrance broadband deployment and conductivity in america and we are happy to get you that information. >> if i may address that point, we have not filed a petition with the fcc. we have an ongoing dialogue with the fcc and the secretary of agriculture is sharing agriculture task force which the chairman of the fcc is a
member and i can report that broadband is a key focus of that effort and that dialogue, although not proceeding as a formal petition, it is ongoing between the executive branch agency. >> i would just say, if, i took the secretary at his word that he's engaged in these issues, but if he's not fully aware and engaged with what's happening at the fcc, the grants that are provided by the department of agriculture, the role communication loans and the broadband loans and grants, they are all very important. what's happening could have a bigger impact of broadband in rural areas. that's why you got the rural electric cooperative
association and others weighing in. i'm going to ask you whether or not the department of agriculture will weigh in with the fcc and let them know that the position of the department of agriculture is to not count wireless deployment as a total substitute for fixed deployment. there are huge differences between the two in terms of capabilities and the cost. i know you can't answer that today, but i would like the department of agriculture to get back to us to get back to me and let me know if you're willing to weigh informally on this issue because everyone says, and i believe you that you care about broadband deployment. this action before the fcc will have a really big impact on the future of broadband deployment in rural areas. thank you. >> thank you very much.
senator grassley. >> i'm waiting for the second panel to ask questions. >> all right. >> very good. i think at this moment we will thank each of you for being with us on the first panel and moved to the second panel. we asked folks to come up and we will proceed. >> as we switch i am going to recess for just a moment so i can vote before the time runs out. chairman roberts will be back in just a moment. thank you. period. [inaudible conversation]
>> join us tomorrow for the march for racial justice taking place here in washington. african-american and indigenous groups will march from capitol hill past the justice department into the national mall for speeches calling for equality. scheduled speakers include leaders of a number of activist organizations. our live coverage starts at 2:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. next week, former chair and ceo of apple facts, richard smith testifies before a couple of congressional committees about the company's recent data breach. tuesday, he will go before the house commerce committee. mr. smith testifies before the senate banking committee on tuesday. live coverage starts 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span
three. online at c-span.org, or on this free c-span radio app. >> chester arthur, pretty consistently ranks among the lesser-known presidents emma the only thing people remember about him is his very distinctive facial hair. >> sunday night on q&a, scott greenberger on his book, the unexpected president about the life and political career of chester arthur. >> i think he recognized he really wasn't qualified for the job. he had ended up on the ticket by accident, he was surprised to be there, never imagined he'd be president of the united states, and then all the sudden he's on the threshold of office. >> sunday night at eight eastern on q&a. >> sunday night on "after words words", investigative journalists are living reports
on the mental health industry in his book mental health inc., how corruption lacks oversight and failed reforms endanger our most vulnerable citizens. he is interviewed by doctor jeffrey lieberman, director of the psychiatric institute and author of shrinks, the untold story of psychiatry. >> mental health is offered by most providers and continues. [inaudible] even more people need to be receiving more treatment regardless of the quality. this put debate over obamacare that has skewed the truth that the current healthcare system is such a fiasco that even having an insurance doesn't ensure good safe care. what you are saying basically is that funding needs to be sufficient to provide services to people but it has to be good quality care which most of it now is not. >> right. you as well as anyone would
know there have been discussions over the decades in various panels and organizations, how do we have meaningful quality outcome measurements, and they keep offering new measures for the not really implemented and there's no culture of enforcement. that's why i have argued that what we are facing in this country is what amounts to an epidemic of behavioral health malpractice, even if it isn't acknowledged as such, within the legal system, and that is in part because the reality of malpractice attorneys is they don't take a case unless someone has died. >> watch "after words", sunday night at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2 book tv. >> this weekend on american history tv on c-span three. saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on lectures in history, university of virginia professor gary gallagher on
the legacy of the civil war. >> afghan americans and former confederates have very different takes on the war as they went forward. they embraced versions of the war that suited the purposes. >> sunday at 10:00 a.m., president bill clinton marks the 60th anniversary of the integration of little rock central high school. >> i wanted to say, you did 60 years, take a victory lap, put on your dancing shoes and have a good time that i have to say that a put down your marching boots and lead us again. >> at 7:00 p.m. eastern on oral histories, we continue our series on photojournalists with an interview with darryl hike us.
>> you always try to be anyplace we did when we were working, especially the white house, to have the maximum amount of film whenever something happens. in just a split second it could be there and you've got it and the person standing next to you does or doesn't have it. >> at 9:00 p.m. eastern, hamilton playwright and actor in manuel miranda accepts the 2017 freedom award. >> when you are a theater kid, you meet friends from different grades in social groups. you learn to work hard to create something greater than the sum of your parts. just for the sake of making something great. you trust your passion and let it be the way. without humanity as an arts program, i wouldn't be standing here and without alexander hammoc hamilton and the countless others who built this country, is very probable that very few of us would be here.
>> now fbi director christopher ray, acting homeland security secretary elaine duke, and national counterterrorism center director niclas rasmussen provide an update on the threats facing the united states. they appeared before the senate homeland security and governmental affairs committee and addressed several issues including the federal government's response in puerto rico after hurricane maria. the number of ongoing domestic terror investigations involving whites premise groups, and capabilities to counter cyber threats including anticipated attempts by russia and other state actors to influence the 2018 midterm election. this is two hours and ten minutes.